Marketing Ideas for Mexican Restaurants

creative marketing ideas and marketing plans for mexican restaurants

Cost-effective marketing for a niche business, such as a Mexican restaurant can be a challenge. In this article we get creative and share some useful Mexican restaurant ideas in marketing, events and promotions.

Whether you’re a family-owned, small business or large set of chain Mexican restaurants, these ideas and tips are sure to spark creativity and optimize your marketing budget.

Media Advertising

The key with media advertising is to focus on local media. According to this Mexican Restaurant Business Plan, radio advertising is most effective, followed by local print media.

If you’re in the vicinity of a college town, another great strategy is to utilize the college or university media. Participating in college events will also generate publicity. This publicity won’t just target college students, but any of the locals.

Event Marketing

Events are great ways for Mexican restaurants to increase customer and brand awareness. This can mean getting involved with local events and festivals, as well as hosting in-store events.

There are dozens of Mexican themed events in cities across the United States. Most cities will host an annual Taco Festival or Burrito Bowl. Also keep your eye out for music, dance or live entertainment events.

You’re certainly not limited to just the Mexican themed events. Also seek participation in other local events or roadshows. 

Weekly Promotions

In-store events and promotions also prove highly effective for a target niche. Tuesday is the Mexican restaurant marketer’s favorite day. It’s Taco Tuesday, of course!

Weekly promos that fit under a category that the general public is aware of (like Taco Tuesday, or Wine Wednesday) is seriously a miracle for niche marketing. Offering and heavily promoting reoccurring specials will bring new customers in, and keep them coming week after week.

Here are some Mexican restaurant ideas to keep in mind when creating your weekly promotions:

  • You must offer some sort of special that can’t be beat. It is okay to offer a huge discount, and decrease the portion size. People will still perceive it as a value.
  • These specials should be heavily promoted through advertising, mobile marketing campaigns, email campaigns and social media.
  • If you have a liquor license, always include alcohol (like margaritas) as a part of your discount. See the section about margaritas further down about this.
  • Make your campaigns and promotions stand out with big pops of color. Psychology says that color will make these stand out to consumers.

On-Site Ideas

Chances are, in your local area, there are multiple Mexican restaurants for people to choose from. A great way to attract a local audience is to make the outside of your restaurant stand out. If you have the space – open a patio. Decorate this patio with lights, and lots of color! You will also get a lot of action and attention by having a live band perform on your patio. It is guaranteed that people driving by will want to join in on the fun.

We also want to bring in this color to as many aspects of our marketing and on-site promotions as well. It seems simple, but adding a colorful cocktail, such as a bright pink prickly pear margarita goes a long way. This is why M&Ms are colorful. Humans have a desire to eat something colorful. mexican restaurant marketing tips and ideas: Colorful margaritas and cocktails

Digital Marketing

Social media, email, SMS and other campaigns fall into this category. Social media is a great way to promote your in-store, weekly promotions and weekly events. Many restaurant owners also swear by Facebook advertising for targeting a local audience. This is great for a niche market, like a Mexican restaurant, because you can also target based on previously visited pages, and interests.

This case study of Mexican Villa’s grand re-opening is a great read for making your digital campaigns creative. To increase customer engagement and make their campaigns stand out amongst their other Mexican cuisine partners, they revolved their campaign around a quiz. This multi-channel marketing campaign was used for social media banners, email campaigns, text campaigns and even local media marketing.

Like Mexican Villa, your quiz could be about your specific restaurant location. To attract a wider audience, you can also make your quiz more generalized. A successful quiz I saw in the past was on different types of tequila. “What kind of tequila are you?” This was great, because it is disguised as an ad, so more people are likely to take the quiz (which gives you SEO value), and makes you memorable.

The Cost Effective Margarita

According to this El Restaurante Magazine article, something as little as promoting a margarita in your restaurant goes a long way. Let’s face it, beverages have always been a great way to add a few bucks to a bill. This is especially the case for cocktails.

“The Margarita is the perfect cocktail for a cost-benefit analysis because there are only a few ingredients in the first place, and therefore, just a few variables,” says Jay Schroeder, in El Restaurante Magazine.

Many shy away from serving cocktails on special, or late night…as things can get out of hand. But we know, this is no problem at all! To save money on broken glass, simply swap out the glass for a high-end, crystal clear plastic cup with your logo instead! 

Also consider adding tequila’s smokey sister, mezcal to your menu. This is one of 2018’s top restaurant industry food trends.


If you are looking for more Mexican restaurant ideas, or business plan specifics, we recommend you check out this amazing resource. This is a complete sample Mexican restaurant business plan, that has a full section on sales and marketing. For other restaurant marketing ideas, be sure to keep up with Cup Printing’s weekly blog, all about marketing, restaurant operations, restaurant promotions, and the restaurant industry in general!